7 Steps to Healthy Habits

Play Like a Girl pushes girls to dream big in pursuit of the limitless possibilities that lie ahead of them. However, even with the best goal structures and support systems in place, it can be difficult for girls to consistently make progress towards those goals. During adolescence, the brain is still developing the ability to consider long-term consequences and daily decision-making. This makes it especially important that girls take the time to think about the connection between their goals and their daily habits. 

Girls can stay on course toward their goals by forming healthy habits on a daily basis. Habits, such as brushing your teeth every morning, are actions that come naturally and thoughtlessly. When you intentionally create habits that correspond to your goals, you are more likely to stay accountable. Goal-oriented habits might include things such as doing homework at a specific time, updating your planner after class, or stretching before practice.

Below are 7 steps to help you form healthy habits: 

1. Know your habits.

Be aware of the things you need to do every day. Sit and jot down the habits you want to form, such as “do homework right after school” or “read for thirty minutes before bed.” When you identify the things you need to be doing, it makes it much easier to stay focused on them. 

2. Write down your habits.

Write down the habits you are trying to form. Post your list in a place like a mirror or your desk where you will see it every day. This simple step can help you remember what you need to be doing to keep on track. 

3. Remember your goals.

It can also be helpful to either write your goals visibly or mentally to remind yourself of those goals in relation to your habits. Knowing that your habits help to keep you on the path to realizing your big goals can also help you stick with your plan. This is especially critical when you lose the motivation to continue.

4. Be consistent.

Each time you practice a habit, you reinforce patterns in your brain. When you reinforce those patterns each day, they become the natural and thoughtless habit you want. However, each time you decide to skip practicing a habit or put it off, you prolong the amount of time it will take to form the habit making it harder to hold yourself accountable in the future.

5. Start small.

Consistency is key to forming a healthy habit. But start small. Avoid making a lot of changes all at once. Start with just one, simple habit. Once that habit becomes a natural part of your routine, incorporate something else. This will make it easier to commit and be consistent.

6. Be patient.

According to psychologists, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. However, the time required to create healthy habits can be difficult. When you form a new habit, you create and reinforce patterns in your brain. Those patterns don't fully formed for a period of approximately 66 days. Although new patterns will start to feel natural as time passes, you will have to make a conscious effort to stick to your habits throughout the period of formation.

7. Reward yourself.

Your healthy habits will bring about long-term rewards like an A in a class or improvements on the field. However, they most likely will not bring about short-term rewards. Doing an extra workout or spending extra time on your math homework do not activate the reward centers of your brain immediately. Make sure you take the time to reinforce those habits by rewarding yourself. Listen to your favorite artist after you finish your assignments or eat a yummy snack after a good workout. This will create positive associations between the brain and those healthy habits. And, the habits get easier over time.

Once you form healthy habits, you will find it easier to stay focused on your goals. Without even thinking about it, you will make daily progress towards the goals. It may be challenging, but we know you are capable of anything you set out to do.

Take some time today to consider the healthy habits you need to developed in order to accomplish your big goals.


The Benefits of Effective Goal Setting

Know Where You’re Going. 

The road to success starts with a destination. By setting goals, you’ll give your actions purpose to ensure you’re always moving in the right direction.

This is one of the principles we live and play by here at Play Like a Girl. We encourage girls in our programs to dream big and envision their limitless potential. More importantly, we teach them how to travel well by planning some dreamy stops along the way.

Girls tend to experience big declines in academic motivation and achievement just as they enter middle school. One of the best ways to combat these declines and help girls maintain their motivation is through effective goal setting.

While setting goals for yourself is important, it is even more important to ensure that you set SMART goals. What is a SMART goal? We absolutely love that question around here. In fact, we spend an entire session in summer camp with fifth and sixth graders on setting SMART goals. Yep, that's right: It's never too early to get SMART about your goals.

SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting. Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker's Management by Objectives concept. The first known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.

Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about the SMART concept in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He stated that SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as illustrated below in our definition of SMART goals.

To make your goals clear and reachable, we believe that each goal should be:
  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. Toward this end, some authors have expanded it to SMARTER which includes extra focus areas such as Evaluated and Reviewed.

We believe that SMART goals align with your personal values, are quantifiable, and can be achieved through a realistic plan of action. For example, one of our program graduates, Hannah, loves art and fashion. When she entered high school, she was particularly savvy about selecting all the right courses to get closer to her goal of majoring in fashion design as a college student.

Hannah's first instinct was not to drop all of her advanced math and science subjects to take up textiles and design. She knew that would be a bad strategy. She understood that the future of fashion requires skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) due to rapid advances in several critical areas of technology.

Hannah also had her own pretty unique blend of interests in business, science, art and technology that would bode well for her focus on fashion. Hannah set SMART goals to guide her achievement in classes that aligned with her personal values and commitment to working hard and sticking to her goals as she progressed through high school. Ultimately, she succeeded in achieving her dream and will be majoring in business and fashion design at North Carolina A&T University this fall.

How did setting SMART goals help Hannah? Effective goal setting results in increases in all of these areas: 
  1. Mindset. Effective goal setting fosters a growth mindset. If goals are well structured and include a support plan, girls can see how achievable their dreams are. This encourages confidence that skills can be developed and all the benefits that accompany that belief.
  2. Self-Efficacy. Goals set with the proper structure and support systems help girls develop confidence in their skills and abilities. They also help instill a greater sense of achievement. Achieving benchmarks towards a larger goal activates the reward center of the brain, helping girls feel accomplished.
  3. Organization. Planning and structuring goals helps girls develop organizational skills. The area of the brain used to consider long term goals and the steps necessary to achieve them is the same area that handles all planning and organizational tasks. Therefore, goal-setting is healthy practice for organization in all areas of life.
  4. Relationships. Healthy goals push girls to look up to more accomplished people as a source of inspiration and accountability. When you have your own goals, you are less likely to feel jealous of or competitive with other successful people. Therefore, healthy goals foster positive.
  5. Overall Happiness. Strong goals and big dreams for the future help girls feel productive in their daily tasks. It fosters optimism for the future and brings about mental health benefits as well as more positive mood overall.

We know that you will grow up to be empowered, successful women. That's why we encourage you--and all girls--to take the time to consider your values and set goals that get results.

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you’re setting goals and dreaming big. Leave a comment below.


Office Hours with Beth DeBauche

Beth DeBauche

Commissioner

Ohio Valley Conference

 

 "Each one of us is given this amazing journey of life. It is up to us to be open to what is in store. Some of which we can control, some of which we cannot. We need to just believe and let go as our precious story unfolds." - Angela Carone

Beth DeBauche is an athletics administrator with a joyful heart. She serves student-athletes as they learn lessons about their true potential through intercollegiate athletics. She lives by the mantra from Adam Hamilton that 'a grateful heart recognizes that all of life is a gift.'

 

5 Things She Can't Live Without
Running Shoes: so that I can to exercise my body and mind and explore the world around me

A Rosary: to continually remind me that God is with me

My passport: so that I can travel the world, and when I am not, still dream of great adventures

My phone: so that those dear to me are always within reach

A key to home: so that I can remember there is a place where I am unconditionally loved


Elevating Women's Sports in the Media

Participation in sport helps middle school girls maintain confidence, promotes physical fitness, has mental health benefits, and much more. For this reason, Play Like a Girl is committed to helping girls stay in sport and reach their full potential.

By the age of 14, girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys.

Part of the reason for this disparity is the lack representation of females in sport media. Only 4% of sports media coverage features women. The failure of mainstream media to highlight more female athletes is a large contributing factor in girls’ declining participation past middle school.

By the time middle school ends, the lack of exposure to female athletes, compared to male athletes, takes a toll. This results in the declining sports participation among girls. Yet, girls benefit psychologically from exposure to successful female athletes. Girls demonstrate increases in motivation, confidence, and levels of overall happiness when exposed to female role models. 

Former Stanford University Soccer Player Haley Rosen is looking to increase female representation within sports coverage with her new website and brand Just Women’s Sports.

Haley is teaming up with other elite female athletes including Hilary Knight, Kerri Walsh Jennnigs, Kelley O’Hara, and others to offer a more comprehensive representation of women in sport media. 

Just Women’s Sports is hoping to “change how women’s sports are covered. No more pink and glitter. No more ‘give us a twirl.’ Just sports.” The initiative strives to spotlight the aspects of female sport that traditional media lacks. These aspects include women in nontraditional sports such as rugby and football. It also includes focus on the routines and training habits of female athletes.

Along with its website, Just Women’s Sports is putting out regular podcasts and newsletters. These feature exclusive interviews with female athletes and highlighting those who are really changing the game. The website also helps users easily find the schedules for women's professional sports and where to watch games. This is useful, as mainstream networks do not air most of them.

Just Women's Sports is one of many initiatives opening the door for increased participation and success among girls and women in sport.

 Elevating the platform, voices, and performance of empowering female athletes helps influence the next generation of women. Girls internalize what they see on the screen and in the media, so seeing more successful women in sports only reinforces the message that girls have a place on the field.

Check out Just Women's Sports at https://www.justwomenssports.com.


Harper: Designing Her Own Future

“Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact” puts the spotlight on five amazing middle school students whose shared love of STEM and sports transcends their differences. These young women — all Play Like a Girl program participants — are true embodiments of our determination to create a world where girls believe in endless possibilities.

Meet all of our “Potential Realized” honorees here.

Name, Age

 Harper, 11

School

Dupont Hadley 

Hometown

Hermitage

Favorite Sport

Softball

Favorite STEM Subject

Engineering

Words you live by

She believed she could, so she did. Click To Tweet

How is she potential, realized? 

When Harper is asked who her hero is, she names her elementary school art teacher. She has always known that she loves art, and had a passion for design and creativity. However, she never realized that she could turn that passion into a career at the intersection of STEM.

When Harper’s dad found out about a Play Like a Girl ice skating event on Facebook, he signed her up. She quickly became interested in the other programs offered. According to Harper, “I was curious about it [Play Like a Girl] and I liked doing it because I got to learn more about STEM, and it would help me in school and help me better understand things covered in school.” 

Harper’s experience at Play Like a Girl programs has pushed her to excel in the classroom.  She excels specifically in math and science, as well as in art class, where she has earned an strong reputation.  

She sees her confidence as stemming from exposure to “women in a variety of jobs and now knowing I could choose my own future job.” Today, Harper envisions a plethora of career opportunities of which she was unaware before joining Play Like a Girl.

Harper has long dreamed of an art career in art. However, she had no idea how that might look until Play Like a Girl. Highlights of her experience include opportunities to engage with a wide range of women in the workplace on our Corporate Field Trips and through other mentoring programs that have allowed her to see where she might one day find her place in the world. But today, she sees that somewhere at the cross section of engineering and design. 

She has been able to see the connections between what she learns in art class about creativity and expression and the technology we use in our everyday lives. Because of inspiration she has drawn from our programs, Harper has even started joining her dad at his plumbing job. She gets “to go into the house and see how [plumbing] looks and is built” and “may want to do something like that.” 

Exposure to real world jobs and women (and men) who are leaders across a wide range of STEM careers has given Harper an idea of how her passions and interests can intersect in a way that allows her to construct and build new things. This gives her the motivation to keep working hard in the classroom. 

Harper loves Play Like a Girl because she's been able to find a strong community that allows her to maintain relationships with former classmates as well as get a clearer vision of the limitless opportunities available to her.

She credits her Play Like a Girl community and the bold vision for girls for her newfound confidence and willingness to step out of her "box" in social situations, as well as in the classroom and on the softball field. “Play Like a Girl has changed the way I am when I meet a new person I don’t know. I'm more confident and outgoing now.” 

Whether helping her peers in math class, playing a game of softball with her team, or just exploring and meeting like-minded girls through other Play Like a Girl events, this community has changed a lot for Harper. She has found her voice which she now uses to elevate others. Harper is truly potential, realized.

Meet all of our Potential Realized honorees. And share their profiles on Twitter with the hashtag #PotentialRealized.

Follow #PotentialRealized on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 


Carwyn: Shooting for the Stars

“Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact” puts the spotlight on five amazing middle school students whose shared love of STEM and sports transcends their differences. These young women — all Play Like a Girl program participants — are true embodiments of our determination to create a world where girls believe in endless possibilities.

Meet all of our “Potential Realized” honorees here.

Name, age

Carwyn, 10

School

Reeves Rogers Elementary 

Hometown

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Favorite sport

Cheer, basketball

Favorite STEM subject

Engineering

Words you live by

I can do anything I put my mind to. — Carwyn, age 10 Click To Tweet

How is she potential, realized?

Carwyn initially joined the Play Like a Girl community because of her interest in STEM, telling us “I first attended the Play Like a Girl summer camp, one of my first summer camps ever. I wanted to be involved because I liked being around girls who enjoy science just like me. It gave me an opportunity to learn about STEM.”

However, she quickly realized that Play Like a Girl is about so much more than science alone. Carwyn reports that she is “more interested in science,” and talks more to her teachers and friends about STEM. “I feel like more of a leader in the classroom,” she says. 

Carwyn loves Play Like a Girl because she enjoys being able to spend time with other girls her age while also learning about STEM and the role she can take in it. Among her favorite Play Like a Girl activities are our corporate field trips where she gets the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at local companies, engage in hands-on STEM activities and meet women (and men) in a wide range of STEM-related careers. 

Carwyn says that being afforded the opportunity to participate in Play Like a Girl programs and events has helped build her confidence, overcome her discomfort about speaking in public, and be fierce — allowing her to dream bigger and crazier than ever. “I want to work for NASA and now I know that I can,” she says. “[Play Like a Girl] makes me feel like that dream is realistic and will eventually come true.” 

Marked decline in intrinsic academic motivation occurs between the ages of 11 and 16. One of the most effective ways to maintain this motivation is through setting high goals and ambitions for the future. Girls who are able to clearly articulate their goals for the future and who maintain the belief that their goals are attainable through hard work tend to experience far less decline in academic motivation during early adolescence. 

Because Carwyn is able to consider and share her long-term goals with so much confidence, she is able to influence her peer group including her cheer team and girls in her classes to dream big and work hard in pursuit of their dreams too. She now knows that simply believing that she can do anything she puts her mind is an important catalyst for realizing her full potential. 

Play Like a Girl is helping girls like Carwyn step up, realize their dreams, and find their place as leaders in the world. 

Follow #PotentialRealized on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Ryleigh: Giving Girls a Voice and Hope for the Future

“Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact” puts the spotlight on five amazing middle school students whose shared love of STEM and sports transcends their differences. These young women — all Play Like a Girl program participants — are true embodiments of our determination to create a world where girls believe in endless possibilities. Meet all of our “Potential Realized” honorees here.

Name, age

Ryleigh, 11

School

Rutland Middle 

Hometown

Mt. Juliet

Favorite Sport

Boxing

Favorite STEM Subject

Mathematics

Words you live by

“I think beauty comes from knowing who you actually are. That’s real beauty to me.” —Ellen DeGenerous

Your hero 

My mom is my hero. She works super hard for my sister and me!

Ryleigh, age 11, has been boxing for just a few months. When she puts her gloves on she feels strong and confident. As she begins to hear the music in the gym and practice her drills, she becomes determined and focused. Click To Tweet

What is her superpower? Building people up and helping them feel strong and confident.

How is she potential, realized?

It’s never too early — or too late – to raise girls to be bold and courageous. That’s the story of 11 year-old Ryleigh who aspires to build a world free from gender bias, with equal voice and equal representation for girls everywhere. 

Ryleigh became a Student Ambassador at Play Like a Girl in 2019, with the goal to help give voice to girls in her school and community who don’t believe they have what it takes to succeed as athletes or scholars. Recently, she recalled her first time at a Play Like a Girl program and how much she enjoyed learning and trying new things--specifically, learning to turn failure into fearlessness.  

Because of the confidence she’s gained from her Play Like a Girl experience, Ryleigh told us she feels she can now “help change the way girls think about themselves and help them to be positive about what they can accomplish in STEM and in sports.”

Ryleigh is new to boxing which she says helps her get regular exercise while building a stronger relationship with her mother, Ashley, who introduced her to the sport. Boxing also has taught her to be more introspective. A Mt. Juliet native, she says that boxing like the female STEM role models she’s met during her time at Play Like a Girl inspired her commitment to being extra supportive of other girls her age. 

“I want girls to know they can do anything they put their minds to,” she said. “I want to help them follow their dreams and learn to never give up, and to celebrate one another. When girls come together, we are stronger and better. We are unstoppable!"

Ryleigh loves math but initially feared the very concept of coding. Then, she had the opportunity to code a fun game with the girls she met at Play Like a Girl STEM+ Camp which she believes is a distinct skill that will lead her to a job in her chosen field some day.

In the past year, Ryleigh has continued to learn more coding skills at her school as well as in STEM+ Saturday makerspace labs at Microsoft and Play Like a Girl. According to Ryleigh, coding events like these have helped to build skills she will need to be successful in high school, college, career and beyond.

“I am a nice person who likes to meet new people and make new friends. I am caring and like to help people through their troubles,” Ryleigh said. “The biggest thing that keeps me motivated is the fact that I have a little sister. She is watching.”

Meet all of our Potential Realized honorees. And share their profiles on Twitter with the hashtag #PotentialRealized.

Follow #PotentialRealized on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Play Like a Girl Hits The Ice

Play Like a Girl Camp strikes again! This time, our super exciting sports destination was the Ford Ice Center, where we had a seriously chilly and extremely FUN afternoon of ice skating.

We started the day off with an inspiring career panel — seriously, girls, the discussion was filled with major info — where we had a chance to meet six amazing women behind our favorite hockey team, the Nashville Predators, before being treated to our own little pizza party. They do EVERYthing for Smashville. In fact, Rebecca King, Senior Director of Community Relations, was hugely responsible for us being there.

We learned about a variety of careers from communications and social media to creative services and corporate partnerships. Before hearing from them, we really had no idea that we girls could do all of that in a male sport. I won't lie...we were a little shy! So, Dr. Kim and our parents asked all the interesting questions. But I promise we learned a lot.

When asked about failure, the ladies encouraged us girls to embrace failure as fuel to build our confidence and keep playing, learning and growing--both on and off the rink. A few talked about the challenges they face being women in a male-dominated workspace. "Often, I'm the only woman boarding that plane. The only woman in the locker room. At times this season, I've had to remind myself that I'm there because I'm qualified. I'm there because I'm great at my job, and I happen to be a woman," said Natalie Aronson, Corporate Communications Manager, who highlighted the important and unique qualities that women offer in the workplace as well as the critical role that male advocates play in the advancement of women in the sports industry.

Next, we gathered in teams of 3-4 for a quick STEM lesson and reaction time test. Using a yardstick and help from teammates, we learned about the importance of quick reflexes and response time in the job of the "goalie" on a hockey team. As you may know, the goalie's job is to prevent the opposing team from scoring a point by stopping the hockey puck from entering the net. Goalies need to have the ability to react extraordinarily fast when a hockey puck is whizzing towards them at 90 miles per hour, or they'll come up toothless, lol.

Resting our arms in the air, we held our thumbs and index fingers about an inch apart while a teammate held the yardstick so that its bottom end was between our two fingers. Without warning, the teammate holding the yardstick dropped the yardstick. And we closed our fingers to catch the yardstick as quickly as we could, repeating the activity until everyone had a chance at it. After each rotation, we wrote down the number of inches the yardstick fell before we caught it and calculated the average to see who had the quickest reaction time.

We learned that an average person catches the yardstick at around 6 to 8 inches. This is a reaction time of .177 to .204 seconds. That's pretty fast, right? But to match the reaction time of a professional hockey goalie, who needs to stop a puck traveling at 90 mph from 20 feet away, we would have to catch the yardstick at 4.5 inches! A hockey puck traveling at 152 feet per second will travel 20 feet in .152 seconds. That's about 1/10th of a second. It was a fun activity but we'd better keep practicing with our yardsticks if we ever want to become a goalie!

Finally, we laced up our skates and hit the ice. Some of us literally hit the ice. (Kidding! Or am I? I’ll never tell.) With the plexiglass surrounding the rink, the smell of stinky feet from the ice skates, cheers and flashing lights from cameras on the sidelines and the slick, shining ice, we might as well have been in a game at Bridgestone Arena. Oh, and did I mention that Gnash hit the ice with us too?! It was sooooo much fun!

After making several rounds (and several Boomerangs; we can’t help ourselves!), we removed all the layers and took it straight outdoors to the playground. We also replaced some of those calories we’d torched on the ice — our butts were feeling it from all the falls — with ice cream and slurpies after playing with new friends under the hot sun.

We want to say a huge thank you to our partners at the Nashville Predators and Predators Foundation that make fun camp days like this possible and to Ford Ice Center for hosting us at their magical ice rink! If you want to get in on our next super fun STEM and sports camp in September (Trust us, you do. It’s gonna be goooood.), then make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter here or in the footer of any page on our website.


Rewriting the Rules and Making History

Mind over matter

Everything we do at Play Like a Girl is about rewriting the rules and making history in women's sports. This year, we partnered with the Women Sports Film Festival and Belmont University Athletics to host an empowerment summit to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Using the power of film, storytelling and conversations, attendees were inspired by and gained practical skills from women athletes, sports journalists and executives in the sports industry.

The two-day event kicked off with a public screening of the award-winning documentary film Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. Mind/Game tells the compelling story of basketball phenom Chamique Holdsclaw from her rise to sports stardom to her struggle with mental illness.

Chamique, who demonstrates strength and resilience like a champ, led a post-film panel discussion and Q & A session with our girls following the film. She also shared pivotal moments in her basketball career, highlighting the moment just last week when she received notification of her selection for the 2018 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

More than body parts

On Day 2, we talked about the real impact that sport can have in a young woman's life. Women executives from local sports leagues and teams joined us for a panel discussion on their rise in a male-dominated field and offered tips for finding our places at the table and ensuring that we bring other women along.

Alex Jones, philanthropist and wife of Tennessee Titan Ben Jones shared how she harnesses her passion for sport to do good in the lives of Nashville youth. The expectant mother talked about the importance of young athletes finding a cause that means something to them and getting dirty supporting the people attached to the cause.

Pro softball outfielder A.J. Andrews headlined the conference with an inspirational TED-style talk on body image and confidence, using stunning photos from her ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue photoshoot as a backdrop. In August 2016, A.J. became the first woman to win a Gold Glove. Known for acrobatic catches that she's been honing since her youth, she shared with the girls the importance of a strong sense of and love for self.

A.J. loves looking fabulous. She even wears makeup during games. But she never allows her beauty or love for beautiful things to adversely impact her performance on the field. In fact, she goes all out for the ball, whether it makes her look silly or whether her face gets stuck in the mud and she comes out looking crazy. Instead, she picks herself up, fixes her hair and hits the outfield all over again.

Being very intentional about the content and messaging we conveyed, we planned every detail of this conference to be inspirational as well as aspirational. For example, every session and panel discussion was moderated by Nashville's leading women in sports media: Madison Blevins, Dawn Davenport and Jessica Bliss.

A future in the big leagues

We know that girls need to see themselves in the future. Upon arrival to Belmont's campus, they were greeted with outdoor directional signage reading “This Way to Change the Game,” “This Way to Your Future,” and “This Way to Make Your Play” that immediately set the tone for the summit experience.

An inspiring quote from A.J. also met the girls at check-in where they received their own personalized badge, custom lanyard, a custom #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL button and Sharpie. The badge, also a keepsake, features a soft-touch finish that allowed girls to capture autographs throughout the weekend.

A series of empowering messages and phrases adorned products such as t-shirts and buttons. On-theme buttons with phrases such as “Game Changer” and “Girls Rule the World” were also available at several places throughout the event, providing a fun—and social-media-friendly—keepsake of the day. The girls (and some parents too!) added the buttons to their lanyards, which were also branded with the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag.

Several VIP signing and photo ops throughout the summit reinforced the event’s message of confidence and empowerment. Near the entrance, a step-and-repeat with the Play Like a Girl logo and our signature exclamation point featured the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag which was used to promote social media sharing. We even designed two custom geofilters to generate Snapchat buzz, letting guests tell people in the surrounding area about the summit while allowing them to share where they were and what they were doing.

The 2018 theme “My Game. My Rules.” was highlighted and our custom button by the same name was distributed throughout the weekend. The girls even took their love of sports to the next level with a 20-minute rockout workout fitness experience with POUND Pro Allie Lamb and her squad. And one of our own team members, Nailah Ellis Timberlake, closed the conference with a powerful charge to the girls, announcing our 2018 “Game On!” campaign.

Celebrating the wins together

The Summit was created to celebrate the stories of women in sports who have paved the way for the next generation of game-changing women, and further our founding belief that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own.

Our goal for this year's conference was to not only amplify the issues by calling out what is and isn't working in sports and society, but also to provide actionable tools for girls’ advancement at school, on the field and in their communities and the world around them.

We wanted the girls in attendance to see themselves in the future, and we succeeded.